The perfect texture rich, cozy fall harvest farro salad
When the calendar turns to November, my usual salad just won’t do. I usually turn to warm and comforting foods, but I find that roasted vegetables on top of arugula are just one of those hearty salads that you just want seconds of! I love this as a meal prep lunch for the work week, but it would also be a beautiful and unexpected addition to any Thanksgiving table.
I am the Registered Dietitian for Dole Food Company and they generously covered the cost of ingredients for this recipe.
What is farro?
Farro is an ancient grain that has a nutty flavor and a pleasantly chewy texture when cooked. It looks a lot like barley. The great thing about it is that it doesn’t get mushy, even if you overcook it!
Ingredients you need for Harvest Farro Salad
- red onion
- sweet potatoes
- olive oil
- salt and cinnamon
- lemon juice
- chopped fresh parsley
- baby Arugula
- pomegranate arils
- pepitas or pumpkin seeds
Tips for putting it all together!
- Prepare your farro in advance, according to package directions, remove excess liquid once done cooking.
- Use a rimmed baking sheet, lined with nonstick foil when roasting vegetables.
- Let the farro and veggies come to room temperature before laying salad.
Substitutions & Additions
- Instead of sweet potato you could use butternut squash
- If you don’t have canned mandarins, use fresh!
- If you don’t have farro you could use barley, wheat berries, quinoa or whole grain brown rice.
- Carmelized brussels sprouts would be an amazing addition
- A beautiful garnish would be goat cheese or feta cheese crumbles.
- If you don’t have pomegranate arils you could always use chopped apple.
- If you don’t have lemon juice you can use tangy apple cider vinaigrette or vinegar instead!
While this salad isn’t gluten free because of the farro, it could easily be made without gluten by substituting another whole and hearty grain. Try quinoa!
This recipe is naturally vegan and vegetarian and chock full of antioxidants from ingredients like arugula, pomegranate, sweet potato and pepitas!
Farro is an excellent source of fiber which helps keep us full, but it also helps keep our digestive system regular and happy! It’s also a wonderful source of complex carbohydrates which provides that immediate satisfaction for the brain, but has the added fiber to be a longer burning fuel for the body. Farro also contributes iron and magnesium to the diet.
How to cook farro
I just followed the package instructions which was to use 1 cup dry farro and 2 cups of water. Bring them to a boil and then reduce down to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes until all the water was absorbed.
PRO TIP: rinse your farro after it’s done cooking to prevent further cooking!
What to do with leftover farro
I has leftover farro when preparing this recipe, so if that’s the case with you, here are a few ideas to help you.
- Serve it like oatmeal with milk and honey
- Fry it up like fried rice with veggies and an egg or shrimp
- Add it to salads
- Use it as a base for a grain bowl
- Mix into sautéed spinach and garlic
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out my family’s special recipe for creamy balsamic salad dressing. It’s amazing for salads but as a marinade too!
Autumn Harvest Salad
- 1 cup dry farro rinsed and drained
- 1 red onion cut into wedes
- 1 sweet potato cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup mandarins in juice
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/2 cup roasted salted pepitas
- Preheat oven to 425°F; line a rimmed baking pan with nonstick foil. Prepare farro as label directs; cool.
- Toss onion, potato, 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon salt and cinnamon in a large bowl; spread on prepared pan. Roast onion mixture 25 minutes or until golden brown and tender, stirring once.
- Whisk lemon juice, parsley, honey and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a separate large bowl; whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in remaining 3 tablespoons oil to emulsify. Fold in arugula, Mandarins, farro and onion mixture. Makes about 7 cups.
- Serve salad sprinkled with pomegranate arils and pepitas.